I'm sure most of you have seen this already, but just in case:
Ten full days have passed since the team and its first-round draft pick agreed to terms on a $6 million signing bonus, but Alvarez has yet to report for his physical or introductory news conference. And there remained, as of late yesterday afternoon, no indication when he will.
The standard line in the days that followed the signing had been that Alvarez and his agent, Scott Boras, were having travel complications. But it became clear yesterday that this has much more to do with Boras' fairly regular practice of keeping his client away from the team an extra week or so, basically for no reason beyond drawing a line in the sand.
Whatever the case, the Pirates are getting antsy.
I know of several lawyers and law students who read this blog, so maybe one of you will be able to answer some questions for me:
1. What does Boras think Alvarez gains from doing this? Is the idea that by making the Pirates "antsy" here, he'll be able to get the upper hand in any negotiations that take place later?
2. If Alvarez' agreement to his signing bonus is good enough for Major League Baseball, then why hasn't he breached his contract by failing to report? Is it because he hasn't physically signed the contract? If so, why did the Pirates pay him half his bonus already?
Anyway, this is far from my area of expertise, but this is really annoying, and I don't think we can just dismiss this as Boras being Boras. At some point, the responsibility has to lie with Alvarez, and we have to assume he approves of Boras' antics.
Maybe he shouldn't, because it's unclear to me how Alvarez will benefit from this. Since Boras likes to let his clients test free agency, it's unlikely Alvarez will be involved in any negotiations for the next seven years or so. So the person these tactics best serve is Boras, whose other clients may benefit from his reputation for being a stubborn jerk. Either way, this can only slow down the start of Alvarez's career, which is a shame for him.